Gap has been rolling out new campaigns that typically create a lot of buzz, but this year’s seems to have drawn a different kind of attention. The theme of this year’s campaign is “Make Love” and Gap created an image of two people: jewelry designer, Waris Ahluwalia, a Sikh and model/ filmmaker Quentin Jones. The image for the ad was posted outdoors and in store windows.
However, New York photographer, Robert Gerhardt observed that one of the posters that had been posted outside a New York City passageway had been defaced. The phrase “Make Love” was replaced with “Make Bombs”. Also, the phrase "Please stop driving taxis" was added to the poster.
Gerhardt took a photo of the defaced poster and forwarded it to Arsalan Iftikhar, Islamic Monthly senior editor and founder of the TheMuslimGuy.com who then posted the photo to his Twitter and Facebook wall. "When I first saw my Facebook friend's photo of this Gap subway advertisement defaced by vandals with racist messages, I wanted the world to see how millions of brown people are viewed in America today." Gerhardt told the Huffington Post.
PHOTO: On this GAP subway ad featuring a Sikh man...Vandals have written "Make Bombs" & "Please stop driving taxis" pic.twitter.com/yvw2vhfexW
— Arsalan Iftikhar™ (@TheMuslimGuy) November 25, 2013
Gap responded the next day and tweeted back at Iftikhar to find out the original location the ad. “Hi there. Thanks for informing us. Can you please follow & DM us. We'd like to know the location of this,” read the tweet. The company went further to change the background of the picture to show solidarity. Though Sikhs are a different religious sect than Muslims, the two groups are often mistaken for each other. Gap has since received praise from Muslims and Sikhs communities.
"The Muslim Guy" Responds
(main image via YouTube)